Nicholas Brown, of the Huffington Post, has bed bugs. He’s telling the world in what will be at least a two-parter.
Here’s a snippet:
Jihad walked up the stairs today and our neighbor, Isabella, began — without provocation — to discuss the serious issue of bedbugs and how they are affecting New York. Jihad told her that we have bedbugs and her eyes lit up like a child’s on Christmas.
“You have bedbugs!” she said aghast, but somehow also terribly excited. “Well they are impossible to get rid of!”
Jihad thanked her for this tidbit but she insisted on coming upstairs and called me out into the hallway. “Yes?” I said.
“I hear you have bedbugs,” Isabella said.
Undisguised examples of Schadenfreude are rare in society. Usually, people will tuck it away under a façade of sympathy. When you see one, it’s a really special moment.
“They are impossible to get rid of,” Isabella said, smiling.
Interestingly, Brown’s neighbor’s first instinct is not to wonder if she has them or might catch them. It’s wonder and excitement at someone else’s misfortune.
Bed bugs aren’t impossible to get rid of, but it’s not easy either. You need dedication, help, tools, and for everyone to cooperate (whether it’s your roommates or family or your neighbors and landlord).
The tone of this piece, as well as the neighbor’s reaction, suggest that word is really getting around about bed bugs. That in New York, at least, we’re getting past the point where people haven’t heard of bed bugs, or don’t believe they really exist. That is good news in the sense, in terms of awareness being raised, but bad news in that it came at the price of many people having to deal with this problem.
I look forward to reading the next installment and hopefully finding out that the only pest they have to deal with now is the nosy neighbor.